Last week a great horror o’erwhelmed me when I consulted the hallowed Op-Ed pages of Ye Beloved Olde Courier.

There I found that half of what I had written (under trying conditions of serious cold and extreme darkness in the concrete towers at the foot of Mechanic Street, where I am forced to live) had been accidentally printed in invisible ink.

This is why last week’s quota of nonsense seemed so short.

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I saw the first frozen puddle in Rockland Nov. 20, which I dutifully reported in these weekly columns. Now the ground beneath us is frozen for 20 miles down, except where that volcano is apparently growing under Vermont and northern Mass. (It’s quite true; I read about it.)

Also, probably not where that earthquake hit, miles below Dresden in Lincoln County, the other week.

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On Christmas Eve, I came across a rumpled newspaper several days old which reported something I would never have guessed: that wealthy people usually find happiness by focusing on themselves and satisfying their own wants.

Imagine that!

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Can you now remember the earliest songs that made an impression on you, when you were small?

A friend says she and her sisters were delighted as children when their dad brought home five LPs: "Meet the Beatles," "Elvis’ Greatest Hits," Mario Lanza, Frank Sinatra, and the one she can no longer remember.

Myself, I have distinct memories of hearing Ray Charles singing “I Can’t Stop Loving You” on the wireless in 1962 and loving it, although I was too small even to go to school. A few years later, the parents bought the soundtrack LP from “Mary Poppins.” I was amazed that I could hear the same tunes in the house that I had heard at the movie theater.

Then there is about a five-year gap until I was again overcome by music, this time by Harry Nilsson, Elton John and Carly Simon.

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Speaking of music, I recently had the brilliant idea of replacing a number of my vinyl LPs with CDs, so I can listen to them again, and take them with me in the car.

It is remarkable that I had this idea at all, and remarkable how inexpensive it is to carry it out. Of course, nobody buys CDs anymore, either, so they are often cheap to buy, and no doubt they are about to be superseded any day by some new technology based on a cloud hovering over Jupiter, or some tiny machine surgically implanted under the skin of singing frogs.

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Speaking of technology, we have all watched it replace things we were once familiar with, consigning them to some vague domain of dusty nostalgia, although I still watch VHS videotapes. In fact, my large collection of vids actually provides some insulation for the walls of cardboard box where I sleep.

Of all the technological losses I regret most, chemical photography is the first.

Buying film and paying to develop it made us wise and frugal when it came to snapping family pics. These days, people have millions of digital photos stashed on hard drives and in other places, but they are almost always stored in an uncataloged and unsearchable manner.

No matter that you took pics of Little Billy’s first bike ride only last month; already you can no longer locate a single image after having downloaded all 265 of them to your computer. All you can see is a list of file numbers generated by your unfriendly camera. Or even your telephone, for pity’s sake.

People actually take pictures with telephones, which makes me wonder if a day will come when we can also bake a cake in a washing machine.

I feel safe guessing that, when history comes to look at contemporary popular culture and its effects, there will be a great gap in the people’s photo archive, beginning when digital cameras finally made it impossible to even try to buy film.

And yet film was so much more reliable than any digital image, at least given the way we produce so many millions of them and cannot find a single one after a month.

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For obscure reasons, the conversation on Saturday afternoon turned to how many restaurants there are per capita in Rockland.

Normally the Ostrogoths and Visigoths in town like to complain about how many art galleries we have, while they never seem to complain about the restaurants. Not sure they should be complaining about anything, actually. Can’t see the point of complaining, myself. If you don’t want to go to a gallery, then just don’t.

The art galleries came in starting in the '90s, after many other kinds of small businesses had failed or closed for one reason or another. Nobody plans this sort of thing, but something called "economics" seems to have a big influence. What makes it, makes it. A bit like God’s good evolution system.

One of us had heard it said that there are more restaurants per capita in Rockland than there are in Los Angeles, and although I have no way of quickly estimating what that number might be, we did have a shot at calculating the number for Rockland.

Using such things as our memory and cellphones (which these days also seem to be able to think, not to mention take pictures), we came up with a list of at least 30 places in town where you can buy food and eat it inside at the same place.

This includes everything from Primo at one end of the main drag to China Coast at the other. We almost certainly forgot one or two of them, although I have no intention of printing our list just to hear complaints later from the restaurant owners we missed, and almost certainly from our local Ostrogoths and Visigoths.

Estimating the wintertime population of Rockland to be about 7,500 souls of all kinds, we got the figure of one restaurant for every 250 people. If we add in the number of takeouts like Wasses’ hot dogs, the ratio is even better.

I suspect the entire city of Rockland could easily be fed one meal out of our restaurants over a single weekend.

Tell me if you think I am wrong.